Another victim is warning the public about Alberta con man charged with fraud in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Another victim is warning the public about Alberta con man charged with fraud in Kelowna

An Alberta woman says she is another victim of Derek Ryan Johnson's real estate scam.
Image Credit: Facebook
November 28, 2017 - 8:30 PM

KELOWNA – Another victim of an Alberta con man living in Kelowna claims to have lost $25,000 in a real estate scam three years ago.

Rita Simmons says she first met Derek Ryan Johnson and Kevin Anthony Kumar when she and her husband came across an ad online seeking real estate investors.

“I sold my house in Grand Prairie so I had a little bit of money that I wanted to invest,” she says. “It was presented to us as we buy a condo in foreclosure, the owner who was living there would be our tenant. When things get better for them, they can buy it from us at a profit.

"I thought it was a win-win situation. I fell for it.”

She and her husband gave them a money order for $25,000, made out to a numbered Alberta company. The land was transferred to Simmons, and so was the debt. It wasn’t until a month later when the bank sued her that she began researching. She is not the only victim of Kumar and Johnson who have publicly started warning others about them.

“That’s a lot of money to me,” Simmons says.

Last year an arrest warrant was issued in Alberta for Derek Johnson, born 1970, after he failed to appear in court. The Real Estate Council of Alberta says Johnson had already been sanctioned and fined $100,000 for selling Alberta real estate without a licence but continued with his business.

In June 2016 an Alberta judge sentenced Johnson and Kumar to two months in jail for civil contempt of court and issued warrants for their arrest. They were arrested later that month and spent some time in jail.

After his sentence was served, Johnson moved to Kelowna and last year B.C.’s Financial Institutions Commission issued a warning that, and “charge opportunistic fees and commissions, and expose consumers to other forms of misconduct.”

A spokesperson for the Real Estate Council of Alberta said Johnson was behind all three sites and court records show Johnson and a man named Kumar are charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 in Kelowna.

They next appear in court Dec. 11.

Simmons says there are dozens of victims afraid to speak out against Kumar and Johnson.

“They are bullies,” she says. “I put all the information I had on Facebook and they threatened to sue and put a lien on my property.

"They want to quiet me down but there’s nothing for me to be scared about. If they sue me for libel, I’m telling the truth.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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